by Katie Vasquez
A book of blessings and Roman missal pre-date Father Alonzo Cox’s time as pastor of St. Martin De Porres Parish in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
After over a decade of helping to preach the gospel, it’s beginning to fall apart, so Father Cox says it’s got to go.
The Director of Liturgy for the Diocese of Brooklyn explains with religious items, you can’t throw them in the trash.
“Usually when someone gives you a crucifix or someone gives you a rosary bead, the first thing that someone would ask is father can you bless it,” Father Cox said. “That blessing is actually imparting you know God’s blessing upon this particular religious item so it’s important that when it breaks or when it gets some wear and tear that we treat it in the way that we brought it.”
Father Cox demonstrated how to reverently dispose of the two books, lighting a fire in a barrel in the courtyard.
“With liturgical books, they ask you to burn them but with other items you can bury them. like with the oils, rosary beads, other items you can sort of bury into the ground,” Cox said.
While it seems like a process that anyone can do at home, he advises against it, stating that the items should be treated with the same sentimentality of a family heirloom.
“They’re sentimental to us but they’re also sacred, so it’s important that we understand the sentimentality of these beautiful religious items,” he said. “But when it’s time to discard that, we do it in a reverent way, that reflects how sacred they are.”
Instead Father Cox suggests contacting your local parish, so they can reverently dispose of any religious item that can no longer be used for Christ.